By MELISSA CASTILLO
I was skimming through old blog posts and this particular one about the “hacktivist” group, Anonymous, was particularly interesting. It shows how much social media and the cyber world has grown.
People are no longer just flooding the streets with protests, they’re flooding the websites and servers of those establishments they oppose. Rather than simply writing negative comments on a company’s Facebook page, they’re making their cyber role louder through “attacks” known as DDoS (distributed denial of service).
Practically every article I read about the worldwide organization refers to their tactic of essentially preventing the functioning of a server, such as the CIA’s web site, through traffic as an “attack.” There are no lives being directly threatened, there is no use of weapons or violence, and yet they’ve been able to instill a sense of fear, enough for their actions to be referred to as “attacks.” What it basically does is interrupt the website and leaves it unable to work for a certain period of time, therefore blocking the page off to the public.
They’ve imposed DDoS on large companies and government entities that they believe are hindering their freedom or the freedom of others they support. For example, this past January there was “the single largest Internet attack in history” because the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI shut down a file sharing site, Megaupload. This led to site after site of government entities and entertainment companies being attacked and falling in just a few hours. To read details: http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-barrettbrown-sopa-megaupload-241/
Other tactics they’ve been accused of using aside from DDoS, is going to awards ceremonies and protesting in the streets while wearing Guy Fawkes masks paralleling with their self-perception as vigilantes.
Because of their growth and influence that has been growing since 2003, the National Security Agency has actually become wary as to how far the group will take their movement. On Feb. 21, its fear that Anonymous will take down the U.S. power grid in the next couple years was announced.
There were several pages on Google of articles written that week on the issue but since then, hardly any information. Anonymous quickly retorted the accusations in a Tweet that said, ““Why would Anons shut off a power grid? There are ppl on life support / other vital services that rely on it. Try again NSA.”